Fishing rods have been put to many uses for which they have not been intended. Thieves have often used fishing rods to steal small items, they've been used in more than a few assaults, and as I can attest from my youth, a fishing rod makes for a very nice fish spear when used by a 10-year old (don't tell your father, though).
One of the most interesting uses of a fishing rod I can recall is that used by the master painter Henri Matisse. A sickly man, Matisse was often unwell and bedridden or in a wheelchair, and because of this turned to crafting large-scale paper cut-outs which could be constructed by assistants under his direction.
Like a virtuoso, Matisse directed his assistants with … a fishing rod:
"One of Matisse's improvised artistic tools was a fishing rod, with which he pointed where his cut-outs should be pinned and, occasionally, prodded lethargic assistants."
What kind of fishing rod it was is not recorded, but the art created by this singular genius wielding a fishing rod has sold for as much as $13.8 million.
An exhibit of 130 of his fishing rod-created cut outs is currently showing at the Tate in London and is slated to come to New York's MOMA this October.
-- Dr. Todd